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  • Admin
    November 14, 2020
    Author-
    Marc Baggott is the Programme Coordinator for Straight Talking Peer Education (West Midlands). He is a former teacher; teaching in both primary and secondary schools. He is also a former Taekwondo instructor. Marc has a passion for promoting both wellbeing and health in schools to help students feel more confident.

    Schools feel the pressure to prepare students for passing exams, placing a huge emphasis on academic subjects to increase the levels of reading, writing, and arithmetic attainment. However, schools have the responsibility to prepare students for life outside of school. Social education, health education, and understanding the importance of wellbeing are intrinsic for preparing students for the transition into young adulthood. Most schools face an overloaded timetable and budget constraints, often non-statutory subjects (such as PSHE) can be overlooked. However, the change in the PSHE curriculum states that Relationships and Sex Education will be compulsory in all secondary schools from September 2020.
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    Teachers are beginning to prepare for teaching RSE to students through additional training and CPD opportunities. Despite the extra training, some teachers still feel anxious covering topics such as sex education, healthy relationships, and CSE due to the intimate nature of these subjects. The big question facing a lot of educators seems to be ‘how do you teach Relationships and Sex Education successfully?’ To answer this we have to think about what is best for the students and how we can tailor the learning to their needs to make sure they retain what is taught.

    Firstly, as educators, it is important to let our students know that we do not have all the answers when it comes to RSE. Students see the teacher as an authoritative figure, admitting you may not have all the answers when it comes to sexual health makes you seem more relatable. Most of the content will be new to teachers, so it is almost like you are learning with the students. Secondly, the key to good RSE is based on good discussion. Most students will be curious, they will have questions, misconceptions, and they will be curious about this “taboo knowledge” that we call Sex Education. Plan activities that lead to a discussion, don’t be quick to shut down talk, students may not have the vocabulary to articulate the points in the correct way. Finally, make learning fun! Students learn more when they are enjoying the subject matter. Plan interesting lessons, engage the support of external provisions to highlight certain topics in a new way, reflect on past learning and have a clear path of progression so students have access to RSE throughout their journey in school.
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    PSHE is important for preparing students mentally and socially for the world outside of school. A rounded coverage in RSE topics equips students with knowledge and awareness to make better life decisions. For example, teaching students about the difficulties of teenage pregnancy and young parenthood helps them to think realistically about whether having a baby young is the best choice or to wait until they are older and more financially stable before they make that commitment.

    Straight Talking Peer Education offers workshops for secondary school students that help to reinforce learning within the PSHE curriculum. We accomplish this through the power of peer education hiring former teenage parents to deliver workshops and sharing their personal stories about the realities of teenage parenthood. This model has a double impact; first, the pupils receive RSE learning. Secondly, teenage parents receive employment opportunities and job skills. We offer sessions on the implications of teenage pregnancy/young parenthood, signs of healthy/unhealthy relationships, the impact of sending explicit messages via text/social media, and awareness around the grooming cycle. We are also trialing a new session into awareness around gang affiliation and knife crime.

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    If you would like to find out more about our sessions visit; www.straighttalking.org for more information/contact details for booking sessions for your school, sixth form, and youth clubs.

    PSHE is important for preparing students mentally and socially for the world outside of school. A rounded coverage in RSE topics equips students with knowledge and awareness to make better life decisions. Straight Talking Peer Education offers workshops for secondary school students that help to reinforce learning within the PSHE curriculum.
  • Admin
    November 14, 2020
    Author Of Blog -
    Lisa-Marie is the founder of Mindful Tree. Mindful Tree grew out of her experience of the immense benefits she experienced from practicing daily mindfulness for many years and her passion for bringing mindfulness into the daily lives of her children. She currently teaches mindfulness in primary and secondary schools and organises corporate mindfulness sessions for some of London's top law firms and financial institutions.



    2020 has been a year like none of us has experienced before. With COVID-19 taking over the world, claiming thousands of lives, shutting down global economies, and stopping a whole generation of young people learning, the rates of stress, depression, anxiety and overall poor mental health and emotional wellbeing have been on the increase for months and it’s likely to continue for some time. So what can we do about it? The teaching of mindfulness as part of a schools’ PSHE program would go very far in addressing many of the problems that a lot of students will be coming into this new school year with.

    Speaking with friends, family, colleagues, and students over the past few months, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in people’s worry, stress, and anxiety. Living in ‘Fight or Flight’ mode creates a continuous state of stress. What this means is that we are releasing cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline into our bodies. Stress over time not only leads to poor physical health and a weakened immune system but it can also lead to longer-term mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The mind/body connection is clear and this is where mindfulness can form part of the solution.

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    Mindfulness at its essence is the practice of living in the present moment, using our breath as an anchor to bring us back to what is really happening all around us. Fear and anxiety are emotions that rise up in our body, stay for a while, and then pass. When we hear frightening stories on the news, these worries, fears, and anxieties are easily amplified by the stories we tell ourselves in our minds. When this happens, our bodies respond with the ‘Fight or Flight’ response, which is not a productive or healthy place to reside.

    Various studies throughout the past ten years have shown that practicing regular mindfulness is linked to a decrease in stress in both adults and children. By sitting in silence, and being aware of the sounds, smells, sensations, thoughts, and feelings we’re experiencing in the present moment, we allow our bodies to enter a parasympathetic, or relaxation mode. When our bodies are still, we allow ourselves space and the freedom to relax, unwind, and turn our thinking brain back into action.

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    If practiced regularly as part of a PSHE program in schools, mindfulness can help students lower their levels of stress and anxiety. Focusing on the rise and fall of the breath buffers the noise of news and social media. Life brings with it a lot of noise and distraction but mindfulness can nurture a sense of self-regulation and calm to those who use it, akin to ‘watching the storm’ instead of being in the middle of it. When we meditate, we slowly start to change the neural pathways in our brains.

    When we agree to sit with ourselves, quietly taking in whatever is going on around us, at THIS moment we learn to let things come, stay for a while, and then pass, without judgment, attachment or aversion. It is this ‘evenness of mind’, this knowing that all things are transient, this letting go, where we can find true power and freedom. When we let go of that fear or REACT mode, we regain clarity of thought. We reclaim our ability to RESPOND to the world around us with kindness, non-judgment, appreciation, and gratitude and when this happens, a real shift in a community is possible. Our relationships with family, friends, work colleagues and community members can all be improved.

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    Schools have historically been very good at teaching students to use their brains to learn new and wonderful things. It’s time we incorporate mindfulness as part of the school curriculum so that students can use their brains to learn the art of wellbeing.

    To learn more about the Mindful Tree Visit
    www.mindfultree.co.uk

    Lisa-Marie is the founder of Mindful Tree.
    Email:
    Mobile: 07969 990 782

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  • Admin
    July 8, 2020
    Social and Emotional Learning Respect

    "Think for the Future was established in 2012 to use a data-driven approach to tackle social and emotional barriers to learning. They work in partnership with national organisations to provide schools with innovative solutions to ensure that young people reach their full educational potential."

    Respect is an important part of any Social & Emotional Learning curriculum, especially when attempting to positively impact pupil behaviour.

    What is Respect?

    Respect can be defined as “treating people in a positive manner that acknowledges them for who they are and/or what they are doing. Being treated or treating an individual in a dignified manner.

    Why is Respect such an important concept for young people in school?

    One of our TFTF Mentors Nathan explained what Respect meant to him “When I was growing up my motto was “you have to give me respect, to earn it, however, I didn’t realise how wrong I was at the time. I expected others to respect me before I respected them.”



    Respect is an important part of any Social & Emotional Learning curriculum, especially when attempting to positively impact pupil behaviour.

    What is Respect?

    Respect can be defined as “treating people in a positive manner that acknowledges them for who they are and/or what they are doing. Being treated or treating an individual in a dignified manner.

    Why is Respect such an important concept for young people in school?

    One of our TFTF Mentors Nathan explained what Respect meant to him “When I was growing up my motto was “you have to give me respect, to earn it, however, I didn’t realise how wrong I was at the time. I expected others to respect me before I respected them.”

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    Activity to try with your students

    Give students information about a person and ask them if they respect them or not. Explain that you are going to gradually give them more information. Ask all of the students to put their hands up, and to lower them if they no longer feel they need to respect the person. This can lead to a great discussion around how we need to fully understand the people around us and their situations.

    Example:

    Example Situation: A teacher sends someone out when actually they didn’t do anything wrong. The teacher then gets really angry and sends the student to the Deputy Headteacher.

    More information: the class is always talking and it’s a very noisy class.
    More information: 9/10 times when the teacher sends someone out, they get it right.
    More information: The teacher is very stressed at the moment as they are working a 50-hour week as well as bringing up a young family of children at home.
    More information: The teacher’s husband has just lost his job which has added to her stress at the moment.
    Discussion Points for teaching the concept of Respect

    How does it feel to be respected? Do you want to be respected?
    Do you think it’s right that some people don’t show anyone respect unless they receive it first?

    -Discuss the ‘Law of attraction’: This is the idea that ‘what goes around comes around’. If you are disrespectful to other people, they will disrespect you back. If you respect people, they will respect you back. Go out and try it! (Useful video resources “The Kindness Boomerang”
    Should you Respect everyone? Or only some people?

    VISIT THIER WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SERVICES THEY CAN OFFER
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  • Admin
    June 28, 2020
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  • Admin
    June 28, 2020

Welcome to the PSHE Academy

PSHE, Careers & CITIZENSHIP topics discussed in this forum. The Forum contains blogs, Q&A, advice and support for teachers from teachers. Links to Free and Paid resources and recomendations.

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